Throughout my life, I have grown accustomed to seeing geraniums on school windowsills, hidden in the folds of faded tulle and later on flaming outside all Parisian windows. My own break in the pattern happened on Reunion Island, where geraniums are not found in pots, but grow like a weed, literally everywhere. Having become accustomed over the years to a bourgeois and uncomplaining plant, the local geranium turned out to be different, as if an illustration to the poem of Grigory Breigin:
“Geraniums are raging in my garden, hot as a young flame. The ruby facet is lifted up by the mighty stems of her flowers. The garden is beautiful in the early morning hours, and in the newborn light I see how the exuberant geranium lights the flaming torches of the inflorescences”.
For me, who chose throughout childhood who was the first to make the first of the watering cans happy - a purple cyclamen or a scarlet geranium - it is also symbolic that this amazing flower somehow especially tugs at the Russian soul, which is why poetry about it is poured out mainly in my native language: Boris Pasternak Sergey Krasikov, Veronika Tushnova, Petr Semynin, Alexander Blok, Evgeny Evtushenko …
Despite all the outward simplicity, the plant has long been shrouded in legends. In the Middle East, for example, people are sure that geraniums helped the prophet Magomed. He, drenched to the skin, threw his cloak on a geranium bush and he turned it towards the sun, allowing the clothes to dry quickly. Magomed praised the geranium, and it blushed with bright colors. It is believed that she always pleases the eye and helps people. For Germans and Poles, geranium is a symbol of family well-being. The Russians, having occupied their first windowsill in 1795, reflects a spiritual and a little old-fashioned comfort. The French, to whom geranium came from South Africa in the 17th century, now live together all year round. The PlazAthenee Paris hotel on Avenue Montaigne has even made the flower its trademark. Having succeeded in growing this unpretentious plant throughout the country, a single hotel does it especially well. Absolutely all windows of the front facade of the hotel are decorated with exemplary blood-red geranium - cheerful, thick and fluffy.
It is not surprising that after such an attitude, the French also "sniffed out" her. As in poetry and painting, geranium relentlessly follows the rose in perfumery. And if a rose cannot be a priori bad at the reflex level for a long time, then the poor geranium was a little less fortunate. Always remaining in the shadow of the royal flower, geraniums bear their burden with dignity - sometimes they appear as a modest simpleton, then, on the contrary, they shamelessly show their vulgar side. It has never been perfect, but unlike other colors, geranium skillfully turns its disadvantages into advantages: be it excessive greenness, metallic "smack", balance of ice and flame, harshness and bitterness.
Thanks to such obstinacy, it is often called a rose for men, since it is completely lacking in cutesiness, sweetness and pretentious manners.
In the 19th century, geranium was generally included in the compositions of absolutely all men's wine glasses. Despite its attractive flowers, expressive green leaves with a wavy border are used for the distillation process to obtain the essential oil. Regardless of the growing area, the final product is always rich, voluminous and tart in smell. Further variations are possible. Geranium from Reunion Island has a pronounced green-herbal bitterness and a fruity-mint trail. Geraniums from North Africa (Algeria and Morocco) have a distinct lemon freshness. The character of the French geranium is more floral and rose aroma.
Aroma Magnum of Opus, Merhis, in spite of the mark made in UAE, Dubai is more like an expat with experience than local pious Arab. He's tidy and hardworking during the week, but doesn't mind stopping by a secret brothel on the weekend. The scent is mostly smooth and fresh, but bristles closer to the base. Geranium here is between two fires - classic, with a good reputation gained over the years and, as it often happens with it, still unrestrained. Hence, an unexpectedly protruding animal in the aroma. So if during the day the smell suddenly begins to scratch, do not be surprised, but have fun.
The idea for the Mon Nom Est Rouge fragrancewas the eponymous novel by Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk "My name is Red". Known throughout the world as a singer of unhappy love, he seems to be recording the stories of the characters. Like his native Istanbul, which exists on the border of Europe and Asia, the writer is also torn between the oriental values learned from childhood and the Western ideals acquired during his life. According to the plot, the Turkish Sultan Murad III ordered to secretly make an unusual book. Drawings in it should combine the traditions of Persian miniatures with the canons of European painting in order to amaze the Europeans with the knowledge of the Ottoman ruler. But among the artists doubts are ripening: is it not a sin to follow the custom of the infidels? And blood begins to pour, staining everything around with a violent red. “I paint the world and tell him:“Be!” And it becomes my bloody color. Someone may not see it,but believe me, I am, I live everywhere. My name is red. " Geranium is here in the most minor roles, but thanks to its metallic coolness, the whirlpool of fragrant events of other important characters acquires a sonorous realism.
Before rethinking the iconic and very first fragrance for men of the House of Hermes, perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena once said: “I tried a thousand times to catch this fragrance, and a thousand times it eluded me. Fascinated by its complexity and wealth, I took it with me on the road to better understand. " Given his many travels around the world in search of inspiration, it remains only to guess where exactly the insight descended to add geranium to the Equipage composition. Although if you add up all the puzzles, then Saint-Gilles le Bagnes comes to mind - a beach resort on Reunion Island. Salt of the ocean, bright flashes of geraniums, pines instead of palms, sand mixed with pine needles, something delightful in the air and a wealthy Frenchman on a folding chair reading his memoirs in the shade of his panama.
In Geranium pour Monsieur, geranium does something incredible. A carefully crafted blend of American Psycho, socialite neurasthenic and Marvis Pea Mint Paste on the brown bristles of the CO Bigelow Tortoiseshell Toothbrush. This is the smell of someone who takes a shower at the same time, fiercely brushes his teeth, shaves alone with his reflection in the mirror and puts on a white shirt without a single crease. He will deign you with a polite greeting, but will not allow you to break into your personal space with jokes, jokes, pats on the shoulder and other familiarity. To tame this is, no less, the whole adventure of life.
Epic Woman, Amouage ─ a dangerous captive scent. Geranium has a small but very significant place in the masterly produced cacophony of notes. In New England, geraniums are the most frequently mentioned in folklore. You will never find poisonous snakes where it grows. If the petals droop down, then the flower warns that you are stuck in the past and tormenting memories are stealing your future. Pink geranium is a must-have for love spells. And finally, the house, where the red geranium flowers blaze in the window, belongs to a witch.
Notes, Robert Piguet. Now these characters are called jet setters, and if they need to make a reminder about a restaurant or hotel they have been to, they use the Notes icon on their phone for this. The scent of the same name from the times when the words jet setter were not heard, and notes were kept exclusively with a creaky pen in ink. Other than that, it's a coincidence: linen clothes, wide-brimmed Borsalino hats, a shiny 1968 Dodge Charger hood, her head on your shoulder, and bellini before bed.
When geranium was first brought to Europe from Africa, it was in great fashion among nobles and noble aristocrats. She was decorated with dresses, hairstyles and buttonholes. Later, thanks to its unpretentiousness and extreme vitality, geraniums moved from palaces to simple houses. According to one of the legends, this is due to the drunken shoemaker Hans, who, on his way home, found a flower on the pavement that had fallen from a rich crew. To soften his fate, he presented an unusual flower to his wife, who, by the way, was distinguished by a hot temper and, if necessary, could use her fists. To his surprise, the faithful admired the flower, breathed in the scent of geranium and meekly invited Hans into the house for supper.
Augusta Evans Wilson's novel Vashti or Until Death Do Us Part in 1869: “The air was filled with the scent of flowers that nodded to each other from the sumptuous vases placed in both rooms; in addition, in front of one of the windows, on a bronze console, stood a porcelain jug filled with pelargoniums with bright flowers. " The last geranium that I happened to listen to was just that - idyllic, although not without strain, scorching, passionate, uncontrollable. Such geraniums do not grow in pots on the windows, such geraniums itself sets the rules for where to grow in principle. For example, in Egypt, where she was found by perfumer Natalie Feisthauer. The plant (more precisely the essential oil from its leaves) resembles a rose in smell, only with a predominance of aromatic balm over frivolous fruits.
Photo: archives of press services
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